Chicago Fire’s Joe Minoso is One Chicago performer of the week

CHICAGO FIRE -- "Sacred Ground" Episode 801 -- Pictured: Joe Minoso as Joe Cruz -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC)
CHICAGO FIRE -- "Sacred Ground" Episode 801 -- Pictured: Joe Minoso as Joe Cruz -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC) /

Chicago Fire actor Joe Minoso earns our Performer of the Week honors for his work as Joe Cruz in the Chicago Fire season 8 premiere.

A new One Chicago season means new awards, and our first Performer of the Week award for the 2019-2020 season goes to Joe Minoso from Chicago Fire.

Everyone was crushed when the season premiere “Sacred Ground” revealed that Otis (Yuri Sardarov) was the character who died in the mattress factory fire. Everyone also knew that would be a huge blow to Cruz, since the two were roommates and best friends.

But the performance that Joe Minoso gave was even better and more heartwrenching than the fans could ever have expected. Of course he was going to be upset, but he drove home the pain and confusion that Cruz was going through in ways that were so raw and honest.

It wasn’t just about him being upset—it became about his search for meaning. Both the meaning of his friend’s last words, and the meaning of his own life without this person who was such a big part of it. Cruz was utterly lost, and Joe Minoso put us inside his head and his heartache.

As terrible as it was to lose Otis, the way Joe played Cruz made us interested in where he’s going to take the character next. He showed us someone who was so hurt and scared, but who showed up for work anyway and was trying to search for some understanding.

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There’s a lot that he can play there going forward, and that’s not something that he normally has the opportunity to do (except for last season’s crossover role). It made the audience get a deeper appreciation for what makes Joe Cruz tick and what’s important to him, and while it took a tragedy to do that, it was wonderful to see him flourish a little bit more.

Watch this week’s Chicago Fire highlight featuring Joe Minoso below, then tell us what you think of his performance in the comments.

Next. Why Otis died in Chicago Fire premiere. dark

For the latest Chicago Fire season 8 spoilers and news, plus more on the entire series, follow the Chicago Fire category at One Chicago Center.